THE HAROLD PEARY SHOWThe Harold Peary show made its CBS debut on September 9, 1950. An audition show was done on August 23, 1950. Harold Peary was the creator and main performer for the show. Previously starring on The Great Gildersleeve, Peary took many of Gildy's characteristics along with him to his new Honest Harold character... the "dirty" laugh, singing songs, and closing dialogue over credits were all there with Harold. And that voice. Who could forget that voice? In simple terms, Peary couldn't or wouldn't sound and act differently enough to make listeners forget Gildy, and that made it very tough for the new show to fly. Perhaps the plot was a little creaky for the beginning of the Rock 'n' Roll era, as well. The show was about an older, unmarried guy, Honest Harold Hemp, who lived with his mother and nephew and did a radio homemaker's program. The townsfolk think of him as somewhat of a celebrity, but his girlfriend, Gloria, who works at the station, knows better. The series received undeserved negative ratings and general negative comments as there were just too many similarities between the two series. Also, the series was without a sponsor, although some of the last shows were sponsored by the US Armed Forces. The series lasted only one season. The regular cast consisted of Harold Peary, Gloria Holiday, Peary’s wife, who played Gloria, Joseph Kearns as Old Doc ‘Yak Yak’ Yancy, Mary Jane Croft and Parley Baer. The announcer was Bob Lamond. The series was directed by Norman MacDonnell. Writers for the series were Harold Peary, Bill Danch, Jack Robinson and Gene Stone. Music was by Jack Meakin. The last show aired on June 13, 1951. The director of the show was Norm MacDonnell, who went on to create perhaps the greatest old time radio show - Gunsmoke, and another western, Fort Laramie. Of course, Norm was a sold radio veteran who certainly had a flare for directing comedy, so he and Peary, together with an excellent cast, made The Harold Peary Show just about as good a show as it could be.
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